Tuesday, May 09, 2023

The Best Deal in Non-Profit Banking

One of the big hassles in starting a non-profit is the pain in the ass of setting up a bank account.  Most of the big players have high fees. In my last nonprofit we were constantly being hamstrung by Truist, who is among the worst banks in the world, at least for nonprofits.  I'm not kidding when I say I had to go into their physical office over 8 times.

So this time I recently opened an Business Advantage Fundamentals account with Bank Of America for my new non-profit Let.Live.  BoA is a giant multinational bank -- but that has some good and bad this associated with.  Some of the best things about a giant bank are excellent security, stability and services.  BofA isn't going to do a First Republic on you. The bad things about BofA

And because they are really a big bank, they know how to do everything WELL. I never had to go into an office -- we did everything over the phone. Contrast that to Truist where I had to be physically in a branch in Virginia at the EXACT same time my partner was in a bank branch in Houston.  I could not believe that was happening in 2021.

You CAN open a BofA account online, but I'd recommend calling if you're a nonprofit because there's a part where they have to look up your business status with the Secretary of State, and I had to help them find my business.  Once that was done it was clear sailing.  The whole thing took 30 minutes.  Oh, and if you're doing it over t3eh phone, you need to fund the account with a debt card.

The downside of all those services is that there is a hefty fee,  BofA changes $16/month for their banking services for the CHEAP account, which is what I got. However you have no monthly fee if your balance is over $5k OR if you have $250 in transactions on your banks debit card.

Here's where we get clever.  There's a new donation portal called Zeffy.  They charge nothing.  If someone donates $250 to you, you get $250.  That's huge to begin with.  But now, pair it with your BofA account.  Sign up with your debit card for a $250/month donation.  Now, you have a zero fee bank account, and a zero fee donation processor.  You just have to make sure you keep $250 in your bank account.

If you don't like Zeffy, you can use Donately or Stripe or whatever for your main donation page.

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